For those who are not familiar, the Guild of Sommeliers is an organization that was created to support those who are studying through the Court of Master Sommeliers, or like educational bodies. Part of this organization’s activities include regionally focused seminars which help students of the court and other wine education programs dive into the meat and potatoes of what a region has to offer.

This year, Austria participated for the first time offering students in four key markets the chance to taste the real Austria. We find that a lot of times people associate Grüner with its most simple version – light, green apple, citrus, and a touch of white pepper spice – but in reality Grüner is so much more. We also find that while people understand Austria makes other wines, it’s hard to get them to look to these wines on a regular basis.

The three-hour class was taught by the knowledgeable and charismatic Andrew McNamara, MS, and aimed to show students a range of wines. They included a sekt, five Grüner, a Riesling, Zierfandler, Gelber Muskateller, Sauvignon Blanc or Welshriesling, and a Gemischter Satz, a flight of three reds, Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, and St. Laurent, and two sweet wines, our signature Ruster Ausbruch, and a TBA (aka liquid gold.) A solid lineup indeed.

The wines (per city):

Flight 1:

Steininger Burgunder Sekt (NYC)

Steininger Grüner Veltliner Sekt (DC)

Szigeti Grüner Veltliner Brut (Chicago)

Gobelsburg Brut (SF)

Flight 2:

Brundlmayer Terassen Grüner $24.00

Wimmer Czerny Fumberg Grüner $19.00

Sohm-Kracher Weinvieterl Grüner $37.00

Rudi Pichler Federspiel Grüner $31.00

Knoll Loibenberg or Schutt or Kreutles Grüner $49.99/49.99/39.99

Flight 3:

Christ Alte Reben Gemischter Satz $35.00

Johanneshof Reinisch Zierfandler $38.99

Heidi Schroek Gelber Muskateller $25.00

Neumeister Styria Classic Sauv Blanc $26.00 (NYC, SF) or Lackner-Tinnacher Welschriesling $23.00 (DC, Chi)

Prager Achleiten Riesling  $79.99

Flight 4:

Kollwentz Zweigelt $33.00 (NY) or Iby Zweigelt $19.00 (DC, SF, Chi)

Moric Blaufränkisch $30.00

Juris St. Laurent $25.00

Flight 5:

Kracher TBA $108.00

Feiler-Artinger Ruster Ausbruch 1998(9) $60.00

The classes were very well attended and we are thankful to each student that had the opportunity to attend. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we hope that all those who attended now have a better understanding of Austrian wine. We would also like to thanks Corkbuzz, Capital Wine School, Bistro Aix, and Sepia for hosting the events and, of course, the Guild of Sommeliers for all that they do.

If you are a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, feel free to take a gander at the presentation as compiled by Master McNamara. You can find that here.